Duquette on Reynolds, signings and Navarro

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said he tried to figure out a way to fit first baseman Mark Reynolds on the team before non-tendering him tonight.

“The way his contract is structured and the arbitration process made it challenging,” Duquette said. “We just thought the value was too high. The price was too high on his option and the value in the arbitration system was too high to tender him a contract.”

Asked about the lack of negotiations leading up to tonight’s deadline, Duquette said, “We explored a couple different structures, but under the guidelines, it was challenging to make it work.”

Whether the Orioles can re-sign Reynolds as a free agent “depends on what the market is,” Duquette said.

“We like him. He did a good job during his time with the Orioles and he worked hard, which we appreciated.”

The Orioles reached agreement with three players tonight: infielder Alexi Casilla, catcher Taylor Teagarden and outfielder Steve Pearce.

“We were trying to sign a few of them to start getting some certainty on the team,” Duquette said. “We had 14 in the process starting today. We resolved a couple of contracts. Starting to put the pieces together for the 2013 team.”

The Orioles picked up a new contract tonight, trading for infielder Yamaico Navarro.

“Navarro is a good bat,” Duquette said. “He’s hit well in the minors. It hasn’t translated yet to success in the big leagues, but he has youth and power and defensive skills. He should develop into a contributing major leaguer. He’s only 25. He’s got one full year of major league service and he can play defense at skill positions and he can hit. We saw that he can hit in the minors and he has some pop in his bat.”

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